TWITTER FIGHT: My Beef With NT Comes To a Head

Over the last few days, I have posted a lot of criticism over the recent release of National Treasures. My biggest beef with the product was that the care that should go into their biggest set of the year was lost after the creation of the Rookie Patch Autos. Yes, I think this set is worse than 2009 National Treasures, if not only highlighted by Topps’ success with Five Star. NT is filled with More stickers, more jersey cards  that look incomplete because of a lack of adjustment to the design, and thousands of cards that belong more in Prestige than a $400 per pack product. After a follower of mine tweeted their similar discontent with the set to Panini, I responded in kind. That’s where it all got started:

@Mattjlange (SCU Follower): @PaniniAmerica @scuncensored watched a bunch of breaks of NT online. OUCH! Fail this year!

@PaniniAmerica: @mattjlange @PaniniAmerica @scuncensored Depends on the box, I guess.

@SCUncensored: @PaniniAmerica @mattjlange It also has a lot to do with how many of those crap jersey and auto cards that come in every box. Horrid.

@PaniniAmerica: @SCUncensored There’s the Gelman [sic] we all know and love.

@SCUncensored: @PaniniAmerica – awful cards.

@SCUncensored: @PaniniAmerica These wouldnt even be good in Prestige, and they are in National Treasures? You cant expect a good reaction from me on that.

@PaniniAmerica DIRECT MESSAGE: @SCUncensored Come on, we don’t expect a good reaction from you on anything we do.

@Dougology (Host of Card Corner Club Radio): @SCUncensored I can always count on honesty from you. I thought the box break video buried their other fb products in the 1st 30 seconds.

@SCUncensored: @PaniniAmerica – event used footballs in National Treasures too? Cmon, this is ridiculous.

@SCUncesored: @Dougology The RAPs are great this year, but that’s buried by thousands of these terrible other cards. Its @PaniniAmerica all the way.

@SCUncensored: @PaniniAmerica Topps makes jersey cards that look like this. Yours, like this

@SCUncensored: @PaniniAmerica Five Star’s jerseys all were designed to be jerseys. NT, not so much. That’s all you have? ‘we dont expect a good reaction.’

@SCUncensored vs Its not even close. @toppscards beats the crap out of @PaniniAmerica

@BryanTalbott892 (SCU Follower): @SCUncensored @PaniniAmerica Gellman is pointing out what most collectors think about Pan’s card design – its usually bad and lacks effort.

@TracyHackler (Panini America): @BryanTalbott892 @SCUncensored I would respectfully disagree that Gellman speaks for most collectors.

@TracyHackler: @BryanTalbott892 Just because he points something out doesn’t make it true. Or perhaps to you it does.

@StevenLJudd (Former Hobby Industry Guru): My post on National Treasures was so sickening I am not even going to bother finishing it. Very disappointing product.

@ScoobyCub (Upper Deck Brand Manager):@StevenLJudd that is what arrogance and unwillingness to listen to others ideas gets you

@Sportscardnews (Card Blog): Pierre-Auguste Renoir could rise from the dead and design @PaniniAmerica cards & peeps would still complain……

@PaniniAmerica: @SportsCardNews We have a winner!

@SCUncensored: @SportsCardNews @PaniniAmerica They could get Renoir’s great great great grandson to draw with crayons & it would still be better than now.

@PaniniAmerica: Yeah, Yeah..

@SCUncensored: @PaniniAmerica You can say “yeah, yeah” all you want. The fact is that cards like this do the talking for you.

@StevenLJudd: Panini zigged & Topps zagged and for the first time Topps was right and Panini was wrong. Who wouldve thought?

@Dougology: trying 2 deflect/delete customer commentary is NOT dealing w/ the problem presented. It’s the way 2 tick off people trying to make u better.

@SCUncensored: @PaniniAmerica Produce a product like 5 Star, nicely designed with all on card autos, no foil, & good jerseys and you will have my praise.

@PaniniAmerica: @SCUncensored Don’t think your praise is necessarily on our priority list.

@SCUncensored: @PaniniAmerica You want to feel that way, fine. Not going to tell you diff. But, I reach more and more people every day.

@PaniniAmerica: @SCUncensored I think we’ll be OK.

@SCUncensored: @PaniniAmerica that’s the mentality that got ypu [sic] here in the first place from what insiders have been saying.

@Ballcardz: @PaniniAmerica @SCUncensored its comments like that that make me not even want to give their products a chance

@PaniniAmerica: @ballcardz @SCUncensored If he represented our core consumer, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

First off, its interesting that Panini even chose to get involved in this in the first place. Obviously, they dont like people coming at them directly like that, rightfully so. However, I am not a professional, and to be handled like that was kind of odd. You would think an actual manufacturer would want to stay as far above the fray as possible.

Secondly, as Steven Judd said later, to them, its all about the money. They dont care that many people hate that they are ending up with up to 5 crap jersey cards per box that wouldnt be out of place in a box of Donruss Threads, because the boxes are selling at MSRP. These types of incomplete looking cards DO NOT EXIST in any other manufacturer’s products, let alone ones in the highest of the high end, and yet, who cares as long as the money is made. To think that this is all a ploy to save a few dollars and avoid adjusting designs to accommodate a lack of a sticker, makes me pretty pissed off. Why ruin any product like that, let alone the one that costs $400+ dollars per pack?!?

I encourage you all to tweet @PaniniAmerica and let them know what you think about National Treasures. Even if you like it, I dont care, they need as much feedback as possible. God forbid they actually take some of the criticism and try to improve things, but realize, the RAPs in National Treasures only account for a minuscule amount of the print run. Those logos? Same thing. Look at EVERY card, and then see what your impression is. Those crap jersey cards at least looked good in past Exquisites and Five Star. Its because Topps and UD put care and effort into their designs.



19 thoughts on “TWITTER FIGHT: My Beef With NT Comes To a Head

  1. Wow, I had to pop some popcorn for those exchanges. People need to face facts, this year’s NT sucks. I loved 2007’s National Treasures, but ever since then, the design has gotten lazier and lazier. This year’s is absolute junk. Base cards with tiny player heads up top? WTF? And you’re right Gellman, some of those jersey cards look like they belong in Threads, but they’re in a $500/box product?! I hope this product doesn’t contain a lot of redemption cards, because Panini sucks at redemptions. Still waiting on Panini Classics Basketball redemptions from last April and May!

  2. @paniniamerica how much $ must be spent to get a decent RPA box hit in super-high end? >$500? >$1000? Give up? So did everybody else.

  3. Pingback: Epic Hobby Deathmatch: Sports Cards Uncensored vs. Panini | Compulsive Cardboard

  4. I’m just going to go ahead and keep saving up extra $$ for when UD gets their NFL license back. Then, we’ll see how far this crap gets them…

  5. It appears Panini has a fascination with STICKERS. Look at their beginnings, when the Panini brothers took a collection of figurines (stickers attached with some glue) from a company who couldn’t sell the stuff, and as successful businessmen often do, sell-sell-and sell, and they sold millions.

    Today Panini should be ashamed of themselves, especially now, for rolling out a product like this. Though Gellman, they say you do not speak for most collectors, I believe you DO speak for the die-hard sports card collectors, who want a quality driven product, something to pass on for generations to come, something to really treasure, not to want and bury in the back yard.

    When a product demands a price tag of $400.00 and higher, for a 12 card pack, I expect to have the ‘WOW’ factor for every single card I view and it needs to stand apart from all the low to mid end stuff. From collecting cards for over 21 years, I remember the big buzz word in the industry was with introducing $49.99 single packs, Soon the $100.00 pack and so on. Would consumers buy, would they take that gamble? It changed this industry forever.

    Now, their #1 touted product of the year, they say “Depends on the box, I guess”, really? If Panini would have put more effort and resources into the card design and quality as they did with their beautiful wooden boxes and sealing efforts, we could have had a winner here. Watching video breaks, I hear how these wooden boxes really smell good… it is just most of their other content inside the box, smells like something else.

    The STICKER figurines must go away.

  6. Thank you Gellman for confronting panini and telling them that NT is garbage. Panini is blind to what collectors really want. This year’s NT is garbage, garbage, and garbage. The only exception is the rookie patch autos and logo cards. Topps five star is amazing with it’s properly designed jersey cards, on card autos, awesome inscriptions, and overall design. Five star hits the nail on the head and gets everything right. Panini can learn a lesson from five star. They will have to meet the standard set by upperdeck and five star to get my respect. Until then, Panini will just make garbage cards that will further drive me from the hobby. Oh, and I won’t forget about panini ruining basketball cards.

  7. I purchased NT Basketball and thought it was a GREAT product. I was happy to spend upwards of 2500 for a case. I bought this product and have to say WTF?
    I spent almost 25k on NT BBALL last year and have to say one case soured my whole exp.. I still have not had it replaced and its been over a month with Panini having it in hand.
    NOW EVEN AFTER THAT I plan on buying NT BBALL again this year!

    HOWEVER I thought I would buy a box of this stuff and wtf is it?
    Panini I do not want sticker autos on my 400$ box of cards.
    If this is how BBALL will be I will not buy one fucking box.
    This year I have not bought one box from you guys. Why can’t you take a hint and do something for us to talk about THAT IS GOOD?

  8. It’s been a while since I’ve commented on anything, and I think this topic is one that definately needs to be addressed.

    “Depends on the box”? WTF??? That’s the friggin’ mentality that makes me really question the integrity of a company. They might as well have said, “Hey, we know that 90% of our $400 boxes are going to suck a skunk’s ass, but you dumbass consumers are still going to spend your kids college money on our shit, so why should we care?” Upper Deck was/is run by some crooked people, but they gave us consumers stuff we WANTED. And by that I mean stuff like Exquisite that average Joe’s like me would at least consider plunking down half a paycheck on a box even though the mortgage was due.

    I realize that Donruss was not a perfect company. Not even close. But lets take a look at N.T. from 2007 & 2008 vs 2009 & 2010. What do we notice immediately? 95% ON CARD AUTO’S. Very little foil. Nice looking base cards. Designs that look to at least have some thought behind them. ALLLLLLLL of that changed when Panini took over. Why? To save some money? Jeez, dont they realize that us consumers would probably spend alot more money on their stuff if they’d put the same thought & effort into NT as Donruss did? Or if they’d play catch-up with 5 Star? If I’m dropping $400 for a PACK of cards, there better be on card auto’s, ZERO single color jersey cards (or patches for that matter), and a damn nice design.

    Note to Panini: NO ONE CARES ABOUT 472 DIFFERENT PARALLELS! Spend more time & effort on your low/mid range items w/ 2 parallels & less foil and you’ll automatically save a ton of cash. The NT base cards are already low numbered, make a 1/1 parallel and call it a day.

    I am by no means a high roller in this industry as far as throwing money around. My wife and I both work full time and have a 2 year old daughter to support. If I happen to have a good month selling stuff on ebay, I may grab a couple of wax boxes to bust. I did a quick “inventory” of what I busted in 2010, which was 37 total boxes. 3 of them were Panini products. The other 34 were older Donruss & Upper Deck football and baseball products, and a couple boxes of UD Hockey products. My total spending was approximately $2500, Panini got less than 8% of that total. Why? Because Panini has stopped putting out stuff the majority of collectors like me enjoy or feel like we’re getting our money’s worth from.

    But I digress…

    I live in Michigan where extra money is few and far between. I can barely afford a $20 blaster box at Target these days of any product, much less $100+ for any kind of hobby box. I have actually started downsizing the majority of my collection because I just dont feel the same about it (and the whole hobby in general) as I did a year or 2 ago. I no longer care about busting box after box of product that I not only have less than a fraction of a percent chance of getting anything good, but also why should I spend my hard earned money with a company who obviously doesnt give a shit about the consumer (I’m talking to you Panini).

    I will continue to collect Topps Chrome football as I have religiously for 6 years, but I am fairly confident that I will not buy another pack/box/case of ANY Panini product (past, present or future) until I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that they give a damn about what collectors want and not what best serves filling the bank accounts of Panini execs.

    Thanks for reading my tirade…

  9. I’m curious who Panini thinks is their core collector, 2 year olds? I guess if you don’t care what your cards look like or are a strict “mojoz” collector, NT is for you.

    I loved the first 2 years of NT, but the last 2 have been brutal. Panini doesn’t get cards at all. The focus of the cards are the player and the memorabilia swatches. Player photos are always small and the swatches are in weird spots, yet the brand, subset, and team named get top billing on the card.

    Here’s a tip, people like Gellman actually do represent many collectors who feel the same. Your products are brutal, its shows a lack of innovation, poor design, and quality product for the price. Getting 3 redemptions in 1 box of NT for $400 is brutal and inexcusable. I’m not sure what collector still listens to Tracy Hackler, could there be anyone more irrelevant in the hobby?

  10. WOW! So basically you (the consumer) have told Panini (the manufacturer) that their product is not up to par. What do they do? They tell you that your opinion does not matter.Is that what this is coming to?Thats what happens when there is not enough competition in the market my friends. Basic economics. At least Topps gives a crap. Also I have been looking at ebay and they sure mass produced some of these rookie shield cards. As a collector I would be looking for something that is not common, unique and is aesthetically pleasing. This product offers none of that.So continue to tell us that our opinion does not matter Panini.Your business practices suck.Maybe you guys should go to a reputable business school and learn a thing or two about it.Sad really really sad.

  11. I try to be as neutral as possible when it comes to rating each product from all of the different manufacturers each year. I’m one of those collectors that waits for the reviews and pics of the products and what each product is selling for on ebay and other sites over the course of the year and longer before I buy.

    I don’t think I am an “average” collector that Panini targets, whoever that may be, but twitter conversations like this one definitely does Panini no favors. I agree with the majority here that there is little to be had from a $400 a pack product that has so little to offer in terms of value for my money; especially when competing products like 5 Star mop the floor with them by delivering a product that collectors like me want when we are plunking down large chunks of cash. Even the average collector knows the difference between on-card autos and stickers, good design and basically what a desirable card is.

    For what it’s worth, Topps has won my money for 2010 products with Finest, Chrome, Magic and 5 Star. Panini and UD are making my choices very easy right now.

  12. I think it’s funny the Panini had no comebacks, they were playing the I know you are but what am I? game.
    I think the proof is in the sales. Both NT and Topps 5 Star pre-sold for very similar amounts, yet Topps 5 Star is now about $100 more expensive.
    I think 5 star is overpriced at nearly $500, but looks awesome and has some great hits. I should have bought it when I could have pre-bought it for $370. NT could be $200 a box and I still might pass it up.
    At least with the hits in five star, there is quality with most of the hits that you can’t get with other products, not even the case hits. With NT most of the hits are the same as regular box hits from cheaper products.

  13. You know, there’s enough social media these days. We should all just stop buying Panini. Someday it’s going to happen to some company. Who will be first? Why not these asshats??

  14. I remember how big a deal it was to plunk down the money to buy topps pristine in the day. I studied my butt off to buy a $150 product. Now people spend $400-500 to get a product with crap in it.

    Like I’ve said before I can buy mlb/nfl/nba authentic game used jerseys/bats/footballs in their entirety. Why spend that much to get a dime sized chunk on a piece of cardbord? This makes me think NSA could make better cards.

  15. I am one of the ppl quoted above (Bryan Talbott) in the “twitter battle.”
    It was interesting to see Tracy at Beckett jump in to rip you and then rip me. I replied back to him and said that I was sure he felt the way he did about you (Gellman) b/c SCU has pointed out what a sham Beckett is and how it is irrelavant these days. Instead of a price guide that isn’t based on what ppl will actually pay for a card, collectors can now go on ebay and see what a card’s true value is.
    Panini’s arrogance and lack of concern for what collector’s really want from a product is one of the reason’s I don’t buy their cards. The bigger reason is that their card designs are horrible.

  16. I dont understand how anyone can justify bullshit jersey cards in a 400 dollar product…

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